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416 pages, Hardcover
First published March 15, 2011
"...But perhaps the best way to grasp the enormity of predicting 100 years into the future is to recall the world of 1900 and remember the lives our grandparents lived.
Journalist Mark Sullivan asks us to imagine someone reading a newspaper in the year 1900: In his newspapers of January 1, 1900, the American found no such word as radio, for that was yet twenty years in from coming; nor “movie,” for that too was still mainly of the future; nor chauffeur, for the automobile was only just emerging and had been called “horseless carriage ….” There was no such word as aviator …. Farmers had not heard of tractors, nor bankers of the Federal Reserve System. Merchants had not heard of chain-stores nor “selfservice”; nor seamen of oil-burning engines …. Ox-teams could still be seen on country roads …. Horses or mules for trucks were practically universal …. The blacksmith beneath the spreading chestnut-tree was a reality."
"As a consequence, we are better able to see the direction that science and technology will take in the coming century. There will always be totally unexpected, novel surprises that leave us speechless, but the foundation of modern physics, chemistry, and biology has largely been laid, and we do not expect any major revision of this basic knowledge, at least in the foreseeable future. As a result, the predictions we make in this book are the product not of wild speculation but are reasoned estimates of when the prototype technologies of today will finally reach maturity.
In conclusion, there are several reasons to believe that we can view the outlines of the world of 2100:
1. This book is based on interviews with more than 300 top scientists, those in the forefront of discovery.
2. Every scientific development mentioned in this book is consistent with the known laws of physics.
3. The four forces and the fundamental laws of nature are largely known; we do not expect any major new changes in these laws.
4. Prototypes of all technologies mentioned in this book already exist.
5. This book is written by an “insider” who has a firsthand look at the technologies that are on the cutting edge of research."